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Let’s be real – being eco-friendly can sometimes be a challenge for the everyday mom. As much as I try to set an example for my son, it’s flat out hard – children can be the biggest little wasters around! Here’s some ideas that can help you get started if you’re not sure where to begin.
1. Use real dish towels instead of paper towels
I’m horribly guilty on this one because between cooking and cleaning, I use paper towels all the time. I love the convenience of having clean, germ free towels to dry my dishes with and clean my counter tops, but this can be easily replaced with reusable kitchen towels or cleaning rags. I also like to use paper towels when I make fried foods as an absorbent mat – however, a metal fried food drainer rack works much better.
2. Install a smart thermostat in your home
I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s definitely on my home-improvement wish list. How cool would it be to control your home’s temperature settings by putting it on a timed schedule? We sometimes forget to drop the temperature down in the morning when we are in a hurry, so it’s nice to have the luxury of a machine to remember for you. Not only does this conserve energy, it also cuts down on your electric bill!
2. Use energy saving bulbs in your light fixtures
These are a little pricey at first, but can really help conserve energy over the long haul. Kids are notorious for leaving lights on once they leave a room, so this definitely helps keep energy use down as well as cost on the electric bill.
3. Use natural cleaners such as baking soda, vinegar & fresh lemons as household cleaners
You would be surprised at how well baking soda, vinegar & fresh lemons can clean! This is how I clean my garbage disposal instead of using harmful chemicals.
Step 1: dump 1/2 cup of baking soda in the disposal & add about 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let it foam up and us an old toothbrush to get in there and clean the blades. When you’re done scrubbing with the toothbrush, dump a generous helping of crushed ice in the disposal and turn it on. Let it run for a minute and turn it back off.
Step 2: Squeeze some fresh lemons into the disposal and throw the peel inside with it. Add some boiling water and turn it on. Let it run for about a minute and you’ll start smelling the fresh lemon scent. Turn it off and pull out the lemon rind. All clean!!
4. Have a special bin for paper, plastics & metals
Milk jugs, juice bottles & canned goods can be a staple when you are taking care of a family. When you have a separate place to put the empties, it really cuts down the amount of actual ‘trash’ you put out on a weekly basis.
Energizer’s brand new line of eco batteries are the first batteries on the market that use recycled materials with still having a long lasting lifetime. This long lasting alkaline is great for powering your small devices because it comes in both AA and AAA size. For me, these are just as good as the regular ones AND the price is right sooo…. I think I’ll use the eco ones when I’m in need of a battery!
Mine also came with a nice coupon tucked inside.. I love special deals like this! Learn more about eco advanced by Energizer
6. If you have a baby, consider using cloth diapers
Just the other day when I was picking up my son from school, I noticed a dirty diaper curled into a ball and discarded in the parking lot… Gross! Just imagine the 1000’s of these that one baby creates during its diaper years all in a landfill….. Yes – it makes me feel guilty about using disposables!